Prepper Travel: Tips and Tricks You Need to Read

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As you can probably guess from my recent overseas adventure, I love to travel and explore the world. Whether it’s a two-hour road trip or a 17-hour flight across the world, I love everything that comes with travel.

I’m also a minimalist and a prepper, so as you can imagine, sometimes traveling can get a bit tricky.

If you’re interested in traveling, it’s important to let the little things go. There are some things you can worry about and some things you just shouldn’t. When it comes to packing, for example, the worst thing that’s going to happen if you forget something is that you pay extra money to get a new one. That’s literally the worst thing. To me, this means you should do your very best job packing and if you forget something, you can simply buy a new one at your destination or learn to manage without it, and everything will be fine.

You’ll be okay.

Ideally, though, you won’t forget anything. You won’t over-pack or under-pack. You’ll be somewhere in the middle, with an appropriate amount of “stuff” necessary for your journey.

Are you getting ready to go on a trip?

Here’s what you need to know.

Research your destination.
Not only can you use guidebooks to research your destination, but you can use YouTube videos and Facebook groups as well. Spend some time reading about your destination. Look at restaurants, pricing, hotels, attractions, and cultural stuff. Read about things you might want to do and things you definitely want to do. Look at lists of “must-see’s” for your destination. The more you read, the more you’re going to know about your destination and the more fun you’ll have. Plus, reading about your destination will help you when it comes to simple things like figuring out how to use the subway and where you can go to exchange your money.

Not sure where to start? You can find incredible books on Amazon or at your local library, but you can also find plenty of free resources on Pinterest and on blogs. Some of the best information I found about Taiwan before we moved was through blogs!

 
Talk to people who have been there.
Note that this doesn’t mean you should randomly choose people off of the Internet and start pestering them with private messages. What it does mean is that you should join Facebook groups or social media apps that enable you to speak with expats who live in an area or travelers who have been there. Talking to locals is also fantastic, but if you have specific questions related to a trip, you may find your fellow travelers are best able to answer your questions.

Where can you find people to talk with? Blogspot or WordPress blogs, city or country-specific Facebook groups. You can also find apps designed for chatting with people in different countries directly on your phone.

Invest in good luggage.
Traveling abroad isn’t the time for shoving stuff in a worn-out bag you got for free ten years ago. While you don’t need to buy anything that’s inherently expensive, it is important to keep in mind that when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling abroad, your luggage is going to get beat up. High quality luggage will help protect your belongings and ensure that everything makes it there and back in one piece.



You can get a decent hard shell suitcase for around $50-60 on Amazon. If you’re traveling with multiple people, consider buying a set of luggage, rather than just a single suitcase, because you can usually get a better deal. I’ve seen sets of 3 suitcases for around $100, so don’t be afraid to shop around a bit.

If you’re looking for a carry-on, I’m a huge fan of decent backpacks. If you’re going on a short trip, you may be able to pack everything you need into one carry-on backpack. For example, I spent 10 days in Japan with my family last year and we each brought a backpack – that’s it! If you’re staying at a hotel or apartment with a washing machine, you really only need a couple of outfits and this can easily fit into a carry-on.

Bring more money than you think you’ll need.
Finally, make sure you over-estimate your spending. While there’s nothing wrong with being frugal on vacation (and I firmly believe you can definitely travel on the cheap), it’s important to plan ahead. If food costs more than you think, your shoes tear and you need a new pair, you break your glasses the first day of your trip, or you decide to alter your plans, having extra money on hand or in the bank will protect you. Aim to figure out how much you’ll spend each day on food, drinks, transport, and entertainment, and then bring more than that just to be safe.

Have you traveled lately? Where did you go?

Prepper Travel: Tips and Tricks You Need to Read

As you can probably guess from my recent overseas adventure, I love to travel and explore the world. Whether it’s a two-hour road trip or a 17-hour flight across the world, I love everything that comes with travel.

I’m also a minimalist and a prepper, so as you can imagine, sometimes traveling can get a bit tricky.

If you’re interested in traveling, it’s important to let the little things go. There are some things you can worry about and some things you just shouldn’t. When it comes to packing, for example, the worst thing that’s going to happen if you forget something is that you pay extra money to get a new one. That’s literally the worst thing. To me, this means you should do your very best job packing and if you forget something, you can simply buy a new one at your destination or learn to manage without it, and everything will be fine.

You’ll be okay.

Ideally, though, you won’t forget anything. You won’t over-pack or under-pack. You’ll be somewhere in the middle, with an appropriate amount of “stuff” necessary for your journey.

Are you getting ready to go on a trip?

Here’s what you need to know.

Research your destination.
Not only can you use guidebooks to research your destination, but you can use YouTube videos and Facebook groups as well. Spend some time reading about your destination. Look at restaurants, pricing, hotels, attractions, and cultural stuff. Read about things you might want to do and things you definitely want to do. Look at lists of “must-see’s” for your destination. The more you read, the more you’re going to know about your destination and the more fun you’ll have. Plus, reading about your destination will help you when it comes to simple things like figuring out how to use the subway and where you can go to exchange your money.

Not sure where to start? You can find incredible books on Amazon or at your local library, but you can also find plenty of free resources on Pinterest and on blogs. Some of the best information I found about Taiwan before we moved was through blogs!

 
Talk to people who have been there.
Note that this doesn’t mean you should randomly choose people off of the Internet and start pestering them with private messages. What it does mean is that you should join Facebook groups or social media apps that enable you to speak with expats who live in an area or travelers who have been there. Talking to locals is also fantastic, but if you have specific questions related to a trip, you may find your fellow travelers are best able to answer your questions.

Where can you find people to talk with? Blogspot or WordPress blogs, city or country-specific Facebook groups. You can also find apps designed for chatting with people in different countries directly on your phone.

Invest in good luggage.
Traveling abroad isn’t the time for shoving stuff in a worn-out bag you got for free ten years ago. While you don’t need to buy anything that’s inherently expensive, it is important to keep in mind that when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling abroad, your luggage is going to get beat up. High quality luggage will help protect your belongings and ensure that everything makes it there and back in one piece.



You can get a decent hard shell suitcase for around $50-60 on Amazon. If you’re traveling with multiple people, consider buying a set of luggage, rather than just a single suitcase, because you can usually get a better deal. I’ve seen sets of 3 suitcases for around $100, so don’t be afraid to shop around a bit.

If you’re looking for a carry-on, I’m a huge fan of decent backpacks. If you’re going on a short trip, you may be able to pack everything you need into one carry-on backpack. For example, I spent 10 days in Japan with my family last year and we each brought a backpack – that’s it! If you’re staying at a hotel or apartment with a washing machine, you really only need a couple of outfits and this can easily fit into a carry-on.

Bring more money than you think you’ll need.
Finally, make sure you over-estimate your spending. While there’s nothing wrong with being frugal on vacation (and I firmly believe you can definitely travel on the cheap), it’s important to plan ahead. If food costs more than you think, your shoes tear and you need a new pair, you break your glasses the first day of your trip, or you decide to alter your plans, having extra money on hand or in the bank will protect you. Aim to figure out how much you’ll spend each day on food, drinks, transport, and entertainment, and then bring more than that just to be safe.

Have you traveled lately? Where did you go?

Planning Your Own Survival Prepper Garden Pt 1

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Planning Your Own Survival Prepper Garden Pt 1 If you want to start growing your own food and have a backyard that can be put to use, then you should start right away. With the current situation of the economy it wouldn’t hurt to become self-sufficient. We know that it is hard to grow your …

Continue reading

The post Planning Your Own Survival Prepper Garden Pt 1 appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Can You Survive Without Real Money?

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By: Tom Chatham The bulk of the money and credit we use today is created by bankers and politicians. Fiat money is a way for those in control to siphon wealth away from the working class in ways that most people cannot understand. Through taxes, inflation and predatory lending practices the population is systematically impoverished. […]

Can You Survive Without Real Money?

By: Tom Chatham The bulk of the money and credit we use today is created by bankers and politicians. Fiat money is a way for those in control to siphon wealth away from the working class in ways that most people cannot understand. Through taxes, inflation and predatory lending practices the population is systematically impoverished. […]

Budget For Now Or For Survival? Money Worries For Preppers

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By The Survival Place Blog – Staff Writer

When it comes to prepping and focusing on your survival plan, there is one unavoidable
issue that many people find themselves experiencing: where do you find the money to pay
for all this stuff?

There’s no way of sweetening the truth, unfortunately; prepping is an expensive business,
The reason for this is simple: you’re shopping for your life in the future, as well as trying to
maintain the budget you spend on the life you’re living right now. Finding the funds to
undertake all the survival strategies you want to have in place is undoubtedly going to cost
money.

Below, we’ll explore a few ideas you might want to either keep in mind or utilize for your own
purposes. If you have budgetary constraints that are damaging your ability to prepare
efficiently, then here’s what you need to know…

Getting started is the hard part

When you first begin to look into establishing a survival plan, you will find yourself needing to
find money for a variety of supplies. The initial cost of prepping can be extremely expensive,
so much so that some people decide to ignore the need to prep due to budgetary constraints
alone.
Try and see the starter phase as just that; something you have to endure that allows you to
make a start, and then things will settle down. Step one is always the hardest to take; just reassure yourself that the startup costs are not a true reflection of the amount of money you need to spend on a monthly basis.

When you have established the basics and fought through the starter phase, you should find that the demand on your budget becomes more reasonable. You should find that, in time, prepping will actually save you money if you do it correctly. So while the starter phase is tough and may lead you to having to go without a few luxuries, try to see it as a short-term pain for a long-term gain.

Start with an essential kit

Your first step for prepping should be an essential kit; something that you can transport or use at home. Thankfully, a basic kit does not have to cost the earth if you’re short on cash.

Here’s a quick list to get you started:

Baking soda

● Puts out fires,

● Can be used as a toothpaste and deodorant,

● Effective antacid for stomach issues…

● … and many more.

Paracord

This video provides excellent insight into just how useful paracord can be:

Tin Cans

● Can be turned into cutting cools,

● Can be used to make arrowheads or hooks for fishing,

● Can be punctured to create a shower head of sorts.

Dry-packaged foods

● Buy products near the end of their “best before” date; any prepper will know that “best before dates” are to be treated with suspicion anyway.

Medications

● Buy off-brand medication; it’s just as effective and is far more cost-efficient.

● Don’t go overboard on bandages, as other items of clothing can substitute in if needed.

Duct Tape

● Buy cheap off-brand versions; they might not be as effective, but they’re better than nothing. You can usually find cheap options on eBay that will be suitable for most tasks. Plastic Tarpaulin

● Again, look online for the best deals; you should be able to find a decent size tarpaulin relatively cheaply.

The above items are inexpensive, easy to find, and incredibly beneficial in a survival situation. While you may want flashier, more expensive items, they’re not essential. Focus on the basics to begin with, and then you can begin to add more items from the helpful list provided on Free Survival Gear as your funds allow.

Focus on small changes you can make at home

When you have an essential kit put together, you can then move on to inspecting your home to see what changes you can make. Just remember to take it slowly.

What you should prioritize here depends on your personal feelings. Some preppers put weaponry at the top of the list, others prefer to stockpile food. Just remember to focus on slowly building your supplies piece by piece.

Many of the changes that you can make can save you money rather than cost it. If you’re concerned about food, then you’ll want to make use of some of the ideas found in this video:

Or if weaponry is your main concern, the cheap, simple catapult this video shows you how to make is definitely better than nothing:

Okay, so the above aren’t going to create a six-month supply of food overnight or provide army-level defense, but they are better than nothing. This term should become the motto for anyone who is prepping on a budget: you’re not making the huge preparations you wish you were, but what you are doing is better than nothing.

A final thought…

It can be tough to keep your motivation going when you’re prepping on a budget; you won’t
have an impressive stash to show off, or an armory to delight in, or all the latest gadgets to
bring a smile to your face. However, it’s important to remember that anything you do is still
going to make you more prepared than 95% of the populace. Even the smallest, most minor
survival prep you do is beneficial when compared to almost everyone else, so don’t be
dissuaded from your goal.

In conclusion

Prepping is expensive, but it’s also necessary. If you keep the above points in mind and try
out a few of the provided tips, you should be able to build a survival plan without risking
bankrupting yourself to do it. Slow and steady wins the day, so be patient, and you’ll get
there.

Budget For Now Or For Survival? Money Worries For Preppers

The post Budget For Now Or For Survival? Money Worries For Preppers appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

NASA Admits Pole Shift is Close: Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare

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With all of the horrific weather anomalies, and the increase in earthquakes and volcanoes over the past six months…pronouncing themselves especially just in the past week…there is a cause for concern.  In the article, Earth’s Magnetic Poles Show Signs They’re About to Flip – Exposing Humans to Radiation and Planet-Wide Blackouts,” written by Kastalia Medrano of Newsweek, NASA finally admits to a long-time fear – the Earth’s poles are close to shifting.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Historically, Earth’s North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 or 300,000 years—except right now, they haven’t flipped successfully for about 780,000 years. But the planet’s magnetic field is at long last showing signs of shifting. NASA”

“That devastation could arrive through multiple avenues. The combination of powerful space particles, like unfiltered solar rays, cosmic rays and ultraviolet B rays (the stuff your sunscreen bottle warns you about), would smash through our battered ozone layer and lead us the way of the dinosaurs.”

Why Is This Happening?

As you will read, the earth’s molten core of iron and nickel is beginning to leach out, affecting the magnetism of the entire earth.  Nothing about wildlife was mentioned in the article, but I point out this could very well explain some of the strange and bizarre behavior we have been witnessing regarding animals worldwide.

So, what can we do about such a thing?  I highly recommend reading the article.  It explains that with a magnetic shift we could see radiation levels increase around the globe, and several scientific firms suggest that parts of the planet could become uninhabitable, and at least inhospitable.

How to Prepare

I suggest visiting Cresson Kearney’s site that I have recommended repeatedly, for the book Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  You will be killing two birds with one stone: you should already be taking steps in case a nuclear war breaks out, as tensions with North Korea are high, and Russia and China are not our buddies, either.  Kearney diagrammed and detailed the levels of thickness and materials used for shelters, both home-expedient and those constructed for the specific purpose.  It also gives all the information you’ll need on radiation itself.

I also did a few articles in the past on radiation-removing supplements and herbs, such as zeolite clay, chlorella, and spirulina.  Along with Potassium Iodide supplies, it would behoove you to stock up on these materials.  A survey meter (Geiger counter) would be invaluable, as well as individual dosimeters.  Don’t smirk: you can still obtain them, and you should.  Also, while there’s still the time, I advise building a Kearney Fallout Meter from materials you can pick up at the grocery store and hardware store.  The complete plans for it are available on the site I mentioned above.

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

The NOAA and NASA websites are excellent sites for gathering information about what is currently happening.  In addition, as I have mentioned before in other articles, that military Lensatic compass would be a plus.  If and/or when the poles do shift, electronic equipment such as digital compasses and wrist computers might not function, but the Lensatic compass will be going wild.  As a forethought to such, I strongly advise obtaining maps of your immediate area…good terrain-featured, topographical maps…the kind that gives landmarks you can find with your eyes.  Terrain association is an important skill.  If you’ve ever busted a compass and cannot verify the azimuth you’re walking on…the ability to see the terrain and match it to what you see on the map is invaluable.

That will get you started if you haven’t already begun.  In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure…it can be worth much more than that.  Remember Aesop’s fable of “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” and if you have never read it, now would be a good time to print a copy and keep it where you can read it from time to time.  Herein lies the conundrum, for only the wicked flee when none pursue…but also, the wise saw trouble and took cover, while the foolish went on and was destroyed.  There is a balance for both, and (to paraphrase the Rolling Stones) time is on your side.  For now, if you make the most of it.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

NASA Admits Pole Shift is Close: Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare

With all of the horrific weather anomalies, and the increase in earthquakes and volcanoes over the past six months…pronouncing themselves especially just in the past week…there is a cause for concern.  In the article, Earth’s Magnetic Poles Show Signs They’re About to Flip – Exposing Humans to Radiation and Planet-Wide Blackouts,” written by Kastalia Medrano of Newsweek, NASA finally admits to a long-time fear – the Earth’s poles are close to shifting.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Historically, Earth’s North and South magnetic poles have flipped every 200,000 or 300,000 years—except right now, they haven’t flipped successfully for about 780,000 years. But the planet’s magnetic field is at long last showing signs of shifting. NASA”

“That devastation could arrive through multiple avenues. The combination of powerful space particles, like unfiltered solar rays, cosmic rays and ultraviolet B rays (the stuff your sunscreen bottle warns you about), would smash through our battered ozone layer and lead us the way of the dinosaurs.”

Why Is This Happening?

As you will read, the earth’s molten core of iron and nickel is beginning to leach out, affecting the magnetism of the entire earth.  Nothing about wildlife was mentioned in the article, but I point out this could very well explain some of the strange and bizarre behavior we have been witnessing regarding animals worldwide.

So, what can we do about such a thing?  I highly recommend reading the article.  It explains that with a magnetic shift we could see radiation levels increase around the globe, and several scientific firms suggest that parts of the planet could become uninhabitable, and at least inhospitable.

How to Prepare

I suggest visiting Cresson Kearney’s site that I have recommended repeatedly, for the book Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  You will be killing two birds with one stone: you should already be taking steps in case a nuclear war breaks out, as tensions with North Korea are high, and Russia and China are not our buddies, either.  Kearney diagrammed and detailed the levels of thickness and materials used for shelters, both home-expedient and those constructed for the specific purpose.  It also gives all the information you’ll need on radiation itself.

I also did a few articles in the past on radiation-removing supplements and herbs, such as zeolite clay, chlorella, and spirulina.  Along with Potassium Iodide supplies, it would behoove you to stock up on these materials.  A survey meter (Geiger counter) would be invaluable, as well as individual dosimeters.  Don’t smirk: you can still obtain them, and you should.  Also, while there’s still the time, I advise building a Kearney Fallout Meter from materials you can pick up at the grocery store and hardware store.  The complete plans for it are available on the site I mentioned above.

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

The NOAA and NASA websites are excellent sites for gathering information about what is currently happening.  In addition, as I have mentioned before in other articles, that military Lensatic compass would be a plus.  If and/or when the poles do shift, electronic equipment such as digital compasses and wrist computers might not function, but the Lensatic compass will be going wild.  As a forethought to such, I strongly advise obtaining maps of your immediate area…good terrain-featured, topographical maps…the kind that gives landmarks you can find with your eyes.  Terrain association is an important skill.  If you’ve ever busted a compass and cannot verify the azimuth you’re walking on…the ability to see the terrain and match it to what you see on the map is invaluable.

That will get you started if you haven’t already begun.  In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure…it can be worth much more than that.  Remember Aesop’s fable of “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” and if you have never read it, now would be a good time to print a copy and keep it where you can read it from time to time.  Herein lies the conundrum, for only the wicked flee when none pursue…but also, the wise saw trouble and took cover, while the foolish went on and was destroyed.  There is a balance for both, and (to paraphrase the Rolling Stones) time is on your side.  For now, if you make the most of it.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Free PDF: How to Make an Emergency Gas Mask

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While I don’t recommend macgyvering things like gas masks, this PDF on How to make an emergency gas mask is better than breathing in methal-ethyl-bad stuff because your mask is in a remote bug out location and not on your side during a terror attack or chemical spill. I still recommend buying a quality mask and good filters for the people you love, knowing how to make one in a pinch is also good to know. I like knowing how to do stuff, and I think this PDF is neat, but once again, have I said that it is much

The post Free PDF: How to Make an Emergency Gas Mask appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Book Review: Five Acres and Independence

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmrfqVb8MOU Five Acres and Independence is a classic, no small homestead is complete without this handbook. However, it can be a challenge to read, as it was written back in the 40’s and republished several times. The small amount of mental work adjusting to the wording saves an untold amount of physical labor as well as waste. Mr. Kains was a noted horticulturalist, and his guidance is of extreme use to the homesteader. He tells how to use each production stream to benefit the whole – like my rabbit manure fertilizing my plants, and my plant waste feeding my fish…

The post Book Review: Five Acres and Independence appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

The Hidden Costs Of Homesteading

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The benefits of modern-day homesteading are immeasurable, but as any homesteader will tell you, this off-grid way of life isn’t free, either.

That’s what modern homesteader Jill Winger discovered when she and her husband dove into homesteading years ago.

Jill is the author of two books and the creator of the popular blog The Prairie Homestead. She’s also this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio.

Jill tells us the real costs of homesteading based on her experience.

She also tells us:

  • How to balance cost vs. quality when purchasing homestead items.
  • Why it doesn’t pay to cut corners when setting up a homestead.
  • How to get started on a home business that can bring in extra cash.

If you’ve ever had dreams of homesteading – or you’re just wanting to improve the homestead that you have — then this week’s show is for you!

 

Book: Find Your Brave

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Have you ever felt alone?

Have you ever felt like you’re struggling?

Have you ever wondered if you’ll make it through?

Holly Wagner, author of Find Your Brave, knows what it’s like to be afraid. She knows what it’s like to struggle. She knows what it’s like to feel like nothing is going your way.

And she knows what it feels like to put your faith in God to help you through that.

Focusing on the struggles of Paul in Acts 27, Holly leads readers through a journey of faith, strength, and bravery in the face of fear. Filled with poignant stories and insightful anecdotes, Holly helps readers move from fear to fearless as she shows what it takes to stop being afraid and start leaning on God for help.

52 Weeks Savings Plan: Watch for these February bargains

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If you’ve been following the 52 Week Savings Plan, you should have a whopping $10 set aside. Don’t worry, that little bundle of money will continue to grow! Each month I’ll be sharing tips for making the most of the money you have to enable that nest egg to grow and grow and grow. If […]

Gun Control Epic Fail

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Gun Control Epic Fail The battle for your guns will rage on for as long as you are alive and beyond. Even in the future I think we will see the AI and robots fighting over ways to pull the guns away from the crazy monkey people who made them. There is no getting away …

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The post Gun Control Epic Fail appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Attacking the flu and an epidemic!

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Attacking the flu and an epidemic!
Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!

Have you been paying attention to the epidemic of influenza that has been rushing through the nation? This flu is very powerful and has done some incredible things. Its done some amazing things. The flu has forced school districts to close, states to declare a state of emergency and hospitals across the nation to bend under the strain of new patients.

Continue reading Attacking the flu and an epidemic! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

The Best Pepper Spray to Keep With You

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best pepper spray to keep on hand girl holdingEvery level of prep needs a pepper spray. It can provide simple protection from everyday assailants, or it can even be an effective and non-lethal option to defend yourself without rule of law. The immediate burning pepper spray inflicts leaves most attackers temporarily blinded and struggling in pain. However, the more someone is exposed to. . . Read More

Travel Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Travel Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore When we travel we put ourselves at risk. Even behind the wheel of our own vehicle we are putting ourselves at serious risk. For those who travel on train or in the air we are putting our lives in the hands of another. it would seem that train travel …

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The post Travel Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

LED Light Bulbs – Cost Savings Over Incandescent

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LED lights / LED light bulbs will save a significant amount of money on your electric bill because they use just a fraction of the energy compared with traditional ‘incandescent’ light bulbs. More and more people are switching out their old light bulbs with LED lights as the prices have dropped significantly. In this article I will: – Compare electricity costs between LED bulbs and equivalent incandescent bulbs – Describe LED bulb “lumens” equivalent to “Watts” – Compare color temperature terminology of LED bulbs – More tips…   The Most Common Regular Old Incandescent Light Bulb The most common incandescent

The post LED Light Bulbs – Cost Savings Over Incandescent appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

LED Light Bulbs – Cost Savings Over Incandescent

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LED lights / LED light bulbs will save a significant amount of money on your electric bill because they use just a fraction of the energy compared with traditional ‘incandescent’ light bulbs. More and more people are switching out their old light bulbs with LED lights as the prices have dropped significantly. In this article I will: – Compare electricity costs between LED bulbs and equivalent incandescent bulbs – Describe LED bulb “lumens” equivalent to “Watts” – Compare color temperature terminology of LED bulbs – More tips…   The Most Common Regular Old Incandescent Light Bulb The most common incandescent

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Simple Facts About Survival Uses For Your Pee

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Usually speaking, when it comes to prepping and survival, pee is not the hottest topic debated in the community. However, in an outdoors survival situation, one should take advantage of any resource available, including one’s urine. The question is, can you leverage urine as an efficient survival tool?

This article is aimed at emphasizing the practical uses of urine from a very realistic perspective. Rest assured: after finishing reading this article, you won’t become a pee-drinker.

To tell you the truth, so we get over the pee-drinking issue from the beginning, urine per se can be used as a survival-beverage, but only in absolutely desperate situations, when the danger of dehydration is that bad it puts your life at imminent risk and there’s no other option (you don’t have any water nor any means to procure water in a timely fashion).

Even if there are religious sects in countries like India which advocate drinking one’s pee (once a day for religious/mystical reasons), you should not make urine drinking your creed, even if those pee-drinkers in India don’t seem to suffer from adverse effects.

India aside, there are many survival stories about folks drinking their own urine to survive in extreme situations. In the vast majority of those cases, folks were stranded with no water available or trapped under various materials/collapsed buildings, pinned under boulders etc.

However, if you ask me, it’s not clear if people who drank their own (raw) pee survived because they did that or in spite of it.

Joke aside, the real answer to the question of whether drinking urine is a good idea in a survival scenario is to treat urine (a waste product by definition, filled with toxins and stuff like that) like seawater or contaminated water.

The thing is, NASA itself is well known for taking astronauts’ pee (and sweat) and recycling it (as in distilling water from urine) into pure water to drink when in space. It’s funny to mention it, but even Bill Gates took a sip of pee taken from the sewer and purified into potable water.

The issue about drinking “raw urine” to survive, besides its grossness,  is that it will actually accelerate dehydration, because of its toxic-waste content (pee is body’s way of flushing out excess salts, minerals and various toxins). The lesson to be taken home about drinking your own (raw) pee is that it will dehydrate you the same way drinking sea-water will. It’s a lose-lose scenario.

Another old belief which has some traction in survivalist circles is that you can rinse a wound with urine, due to the myth that a healthy person’s pee is sterile. Regardless of ancient folk tales, urine is not sterile, hence never pee on an open wound (I’ve heard a lot of so-called survivalists advocating that).

If you don’t have clean water, let the blood flow flush it.

Moving on with our story, since every one of us carries a free supply of pee at all times, learning its survival uses can be very useful, especially for outdoors enthusiasts. Here’s what can you actually do with your own pee to improve your chances of survival in a SHTF scenario:

You can distill water from urine.

Since pee is about 95% water, you can distill it into pure drinking water using an improvised distiller to separate the 5% bad stuff from good stuff. Even if pee is hardly my first choice as a water source, if you don’t have any other options, your urine may become a life saver.

Now, how can you distill water from urine? Well, think along the lines of solar water collection techniques, i.e. solar stills and the like. For example, if you have a plastic sheet available (and you should have one in your survival kit), all you have to do is to dig a hole in the ground, but be careful to pick a spot exposed to sunlight.

Then you put a clean container right in the middle of the hole, with the plastic sheet over it. The pee must be poured in the area around the container. Put a small rock in the center of the plastic sheet right above the container, thus making a small dip.

This dip will work as the condensation/distillation point. Remember to secure the plastic sheet with rocks on each corner so the sheet does not touch the sides of the hole, i.e. it stays suspended. During the day, the heat  from the sun will make the water from the urine evaporate, while the plastic sheet will collect the clean-water vapors, and condensing water will drip inside the container. Here’s a video.

If you’re a big Bear Grylls fan, check out this video with him demonstrating how to procure clean water from urine.

Finally, here’s another one that will teach you how to build a simple solar water/pee distiller for survival by using 2 plastic/glass bottles and some duct tape (an essential item in your survival kit).

Besides drinking, one’s pee can be used to keep cool or warm, depending on the situation. If it’s too hot and you don’t have water to spare, you can wrap a wet towel (as in you pee on the towel) around the back of your neck to keep you cool.

The evaporating pee will draw heat away. In extreme cold, you can pee inside a plastic bottle and keep it under your jacket, thus improvising a personal warmer of sorts. This is a pretty smart way to save body heat.

If you know your chemistry and geology, you can use pee to make gunpowder. This is not a joke; here’s a dude, Cody Reeder respectively, who actually did it and immortalized his experience on YouTube. To make gunpowder, you require charcoal, potassium nitrate and sulfur.

Burning wood will provide you with all the charcoal you need. Certain rocks are rich in sulfur, also elemental sulfur is easy to find around hot springs and volcanoes. Urine is the secret for getting potassium nitrate.

Another interesting factoid about urine is that it can be used for softening leather, as the urea decays in ammonia over time. Finally, you can start a fire with urine, provided you have a plastic/glass bottle available and enough (fairly clear) urine. Just read my article about how to start a fire using your pee.

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas, questions or whatever, feel free to express yourself in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Build Up Fire Bug Out Bags

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fire_for_bug_out_camp

The consensus is that nothing feels better or soothes the savage brow than a good campfire.  Just having thefire_wood_for_bug_out_location flickering flames available for a comfort factor, providing some needed warmth, or available for cooking a hot meal, a fire can be an essential ingredient of having a working Bug Out survival camp set up. Sometimes though, just starting a fire can be a chore.  If the conditions are wet with little available fire starting materials at hand, then building a comfort fire can turn out to be just another stressful task.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Rubbing two sticks together may work if the conditions are ideal, but most preppers are not that skillful.  Even if you have a butane lighter, you still need fire materials at hand to build a quick fire.

Related: 10 Bug Out Bag Essentials

All this is made much easier if you prepare fire building fire bags ahead of time.  This is a simple process and you’ll be ready at any time to have some base materials available to light up for a quick fire, ready to add kindling and larger materials.  This should be done in advance to be stored at home or cached at a designated Bug Out location.

Bags for Fire Bags

Folks this is not rocket science and there is no reason not to prep some fire bags well ahead of time for when theybug_out_fire_starter are needed.  These bags can come from an infinite number of sources, and most often are something you might already toss into the trash, recycle bin, or burn outside in an outdoor fireplace or fire ring.

Fire bags can be as small or large as you care to fabricate.  Use your best judgement as to how much fire material you want gathered and ready to go.  These bags can be easily stored in the garage, an outside tool shed or storage building, or kept at a Bug Out location.

If you are forced to Bug Out then one or two of these fire bags can also be quickly grabbed and tossed into the travel vehicle.  At home, these bags can be left in the corner of the garage or tool room to continue to stuff with fire starting materials.

Also Read: Bug Out Travel Security

Easy to prep bags can include such options as outdoor grilling charcoal bags.  This is my go-to bag for building fire bags.  The paper material used to make bags of charcoal are usually made from a couple layers of brown craft paper that is a good, heavy material.  Even the bag itself can be torn apart and burned as separate pieces.  Otherwise the entire stuffed bag can be used as the fire starter base.

All kinds of larger plastic or paper bags can be used, too.  Right now I have several fire bags ready to be taken to Bug Out Camp in yard bedding mulch sacks/bags, bird seed bags, and dog food bags.  These are heavy duty bags that can hold a lot of fire fodder materials plus they can also just be burned themselves filled with fire starter stuff.

Fire Bag Stuffing

This is really the easy part.  Every day you probably throw a ton of burn materials in your trash cans at the house or work that could be separated out and stuffed into a fire bag.  The list is virtually endless.  Just get creative thinking any possible piece of paper that can be easily and quickly set afire for a fast burn to start a hot fire.

Related: Bug Out Bag Mistakes That Are Not Mistakes

In the list of paper materials we stuff into fire bags includes every kind of junk mail that comes every day and more.  Sales flyers, notices, mailed bill envelopes, extra letter insert papers, catalogs, magazine inserts, advertisements, envelopes from business correspondence, coupons, newsletters, pure ole junk mail you never even open, toilet and paper towel rolls, food packaging and any other piece of clean, dry paper you would otherwise just throw away.

Every day just carry these materials out to the garage or wherever you keep your fire bags and toss them inside.  As the bags fill up, mash them down inside and keep adding more.  When the sacks eventually totally fill up, then roll the tops down to keep them closed and secure.  You could even staple the tops closed so nothing spills out.

These will be relatively lightweight bags that can easily be tossed into the bug out vehicle or in the bed of a pickup truck or SUV.  Build up as many of these fire bags that you care to deal with, but probably at least a half dozen or so to get you started at Bug Out Camp or a home outside fire pit or even an indoor fireplace for a controlled fire.

Starting a Fire Bag Fire

I use these fire bags in one of two ways.  If I want to eventually have a big bonfire at Bug Out Camp, then I just lay fire_starters_for_survivalthe entire fire bag down into the rock lined fire ring.  I mash it down as flat as possible.  Then I pile on small kindling limbs I pick up in the camp area yard.  Mother Nature is always happy to supply plenty of those via wind storms.  Next, I will stack on top two or three pieces of split firewood we keep stocked nearby.  Viola.  Light the bag and watch it go.  Sometimes I use charcoal lighter to quicken the blaze up.

You Might Also Like: Have You Tested Your Bug Out Bag Lately?

If I want a smaller fire in camp, then I just open the fire bag and take out enough paper to get a fire going.  Add sticks and kindling, then bigger pieces of wood as desired.  A fire bag full of junk mail and other paper will last for starting several fires. So, don’t toss your big product bags or all that junk mail and waste paper.  Stuff your bags full and just turn them into handy fire bags.  There is no easier way to get a Bug Out Camp fire going.

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Introduction to ABC and NBC Survival

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

No, I’m not talking about the television networks; they can’t kill you, just dim your intelligence and contaminate you with incorrect information.  In the 50’s, the risk was from what were called Atomic, Biological and Chemical weapons, thus ABC.  During the cold war, the term changed to NBC, or Nuclear, Biological and Chemical.  This was to include “hydrogen” (“thermonuclear”, including fusion) and “neutron” (designed for maximum radiation and minimum blast) bombs with the original “atomic” (using fission only) bombs.  Nowadays, the term has been expanded to CBRNe.  This refers to “all” the current “weapons of mass destruction”, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and sometimes “enhanced (improvised) explosive”.  I don’t know why an “improvised” explosive device is considered any worse than a military or other “dedicated” explosive device.

In a previous article (Introduction to Nuclear Survival), we discussed the “Nuclear” aspect.  This has the short term (fireball, blast and heat) aspects and the longer term (radiation and fallout) aspects.  “Radiological” is a relatively new concept dealing with the concept of a “dirty bomb“.  This is a standard explosive which is surrounded with radioactive material.  It does not have the destructive power or radiation of a nuclear explosion, but does spread radioactive material around, potentially exposing victims to the radiation, and making the area unsafe until it is cleaned up or the radioactive material decays to a safe level.

Biological weapons attempt to use disease as a weapon against a population; the agent is bacterial or viral or spores (including fungal).  The key to these is that usually there is a period of time between exposure and symptoms, and transmission across a target area is accomplished by “infection” – people with the disease unknowingly (or uncaringly) infecting other people.

Chemical weapons are another anti-personnel weapon which attempts to poison, disable or disorient a population.  This can be a single, basic chemical or a complex mix such as a nerve agent; the chemical can have been developed for non-weapon uses and just be adapted for weapon use, or it could have been developed strictly as a weapon.

Biological Weapons

As mentioned, the long term transmission of biological weapons is via infection.  An area may be contaminated by filling the air with an aerosol form, or covering it with a liquid form, but often it is more effective (and technically easier) to send infectious people into the target population.  The design of these weapons focus on the resistance of the disease agent outside of a host (to make it difficult to sanitize an affected area and infect as many “primary” hosts as possible), the lethality of the disease (maximize the percentage of victims who are disabled or die), the susceptibility to treatment or inoculation (to minimize victims being easily cured or made resistant to infection), and the length of the incubation period (a long time between exposure and symptoms to maximize the period each carrier is infectious and mobile, or a short time to make it harder to combat).

Thus, the trick is to avoid becoming infected.  This generally occurs when the disease agent (bacteria, virus or spore) enters the body, most commonly via the mouth, nose, eyes or a break in the skin.  The disease agent can be in an aerosol form which is breathed or a liquid which gets on the hands and is transferred to an opening or into a wound.  It can also be in what is eaten or drunk.  If you can prevent these common sources of infection, then it would be unlikely that you will be infected, unless someone injects you or you are in long term close contact with a carrier or their environment.  To reduce the odds of infection, use a mask over your mouth and nose which can filter out and/or kill the disease agent, goggles which seal around your eyes, and clothing which will keep the disease agent away from your skin, or at least any breaks in your skin.  Decontamination; that is safe removal and containment of the clothing upon return to a “safe” location, and cleaning any possibly exposed parts of the body, will be of great importance.

Since it is difficult to keep up avoidance of infection long term, a secondary focus is to kill the disease agent not yet (or any more) in a victim, and to quarantine those who are infected.  There are a number of ways to kill disease agents: heat, ultraviolet and disinfectants are the most common.  Victims of bacterial weapons may respond to antibiotics, but often viruses don’t have effective anti-virals.

Note that a biological product, such as Botulism toxin is NOT a Biological weapon, but a Chemical one.  A Biological weapon is one which is “alive” or at least becomes alive in the victim, and works by multiplying to the point where the victim’s system is overwhelmed.  The diseases used tend to be naturally occurring, although the weaponized ones may have been “tweaked”.

Perhaps the most noted modern biological weapon is Anthrax (Bacillus Anthracis).  Others include Smallpox (Variola major), Tularemia (Francisella tularensis), Plague (Yersinia pestis), Bunyavirus (Bunyaviridae family – Nairovirus, Phlebovirus and Hantavirus), Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus (another Hemorrhagic Fever similar to Ebola).  Some people think that influenza has potential to be “improved” into a useful weapon.

Anthrax has not only the bacteriological effects, but the bacterium is one of those which also produce toxins.  Treatment varies depending on how you were infected.  If the infection was through a wound or injection, often a long course of Ciprofloxican or a Doxycycline antibiotic will do the trick.  If spores were inhaled, that is a medical emergency which antibiotics alone may not suffice for.  There are anti-toxins being developed for cases where the toxin has been produced in the victim in quantity, but at this time these are still experimental.  Those at risk (veterinarians and other professionals who deal with animals, and the military) can get a vaccine against Anthrax.  They are also working to develop an oral vaccine which might be available more widely.  Anthrax is not as infectious as many diseases, so the optimal way of introducing it into a population is dispersing an aerosol to encourage inhalation of the agent.

  

Chemical Weapons

Any weaponized material which is not “alive” (or potentially alive), including substances produced by or from biological elements, is considered Chemical.  This material is finite in quantity; it does not reproduce, and works by affecting the body directly.  It can be a gas, liquid, powder or other solid form.  It can be distributed by explosion or other mechanical distribution, or it can be concealed in food or water or many other products.  Effects can be physical damage, death, incapacitation or disorientation; effects can occur ‘instantaneously’ or after a while, and can be permanent or temporary.

When developing a chemical weapon, one tends to focus not only in producing the desired effect, but the “volatility” or how stable it is.  Chemicals which are volatile (unstable) tend to “go away” or become inactive quickly, thus exhibiting low “persistence”.  This might be of interest if you plan to send personnel in shortly after the weapon.  On the other hand, if the goal is to cause as much damage as possible, high persistence would be preferable.

Harassing agents

These are substances that are not intended to kill or injure. Casualty effects are not anticipated to exceed 24 hours, nor do they often require medical attention.  These include tear agents (pain to eyes and irritation to mucous membranes), vomiting agents (produce congestion, coughing, sneezing, and eventually nausea), and malodorants (strong, unpleasant smell with powerful averse effects, such as a skunk uses.)

Incapacitating agents

These are substances that produce debilitating effects with limited probability of permanent injury or loss of life. The casualty effects typically last over 24 hours, and though medical evacuation and isolation is recommended, it is usually not required for complete recovery.  Most are psychological agents which cause mental disturbances such as delirium or hallucination.  A common example is LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide).  Tranquilizers would also be incapacitating agents, but would be other than psychological in nature.

Vomiting. Adamsite (DM) Diphenylchloroarsine (DA) Diphenylcyanoarsine (DC) Other. Agent 15. BZ. Canniboids. Fentanyls. LSD. Phenothiazines. Riot Control/Tear. Bromobenzylcyanide Chloroacetophenone. Chloropicrin. CNB – (CN in Benzene and Carbon Tetrachloride) CNC – (CN in Chloroform) CNS – (CN and Chloropicrin in Chloroform)

Harassing agents and incapacitating agents are considered NON-LETHAL weapons which are temporary in nature.  Note that they can result in the death of a small percentage of people affected due to sensitivity, other health issues or unintended consequence (a LSD victim thinking he can fly and jumping off a building).  All other chemical weapons are considered LETHAL weapons, as they are intended to produce casualties without regard to long-term consequences or loss of life; the injuries they cause require medical treatment.

Blister agents

These irritate and cause injury to the skin, as well as the eyes, or any other tissue they contact (including internal tissues if breathed).

Vesicants – These are substances that produce large fluid-filled blisters on the skin, for example, various formulas of mustard gas.

UrticantsThese are substances that produce a painful weal on the skin.  Sometimes they are called skin necrotizers.  The most common is Phosgene oxime.

Blood agents

These substances are metabolic poisons that interfere with the life-sustaining processes of the blood, such as Hydrogen cyanide or Arsine (a compound of arsenic).

Choking agents

These substances are sometime referred to as pulmonary agent or lung irritants and cause injury to the lung-blood barrier, preventing oxygen from getting into the blood.  This results in coma or death from Asphyxia (severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body).  These are commonly gasses, such as Chlorine or Phosgene.

Nerve agents

Nerve agents are substances that disrupt the chemical communications through the nervous system.  The most common method of doing this is by preventing the normal control (destruction) of unintended acetylcholine in the nerve fiber, leading to a perpetual state of excitement in the nerve.  This causes constant muscle contraction and the eventual exhaustion of the muscles leading to respiratory failure and death.  The other method is a neurotoxin, Tetrodotoxin, which blocks nerve cells from firing, preventing muscles from contracting, and again resulting in respiratory failure.

 

There are a number of “series” of nerve agents.  G series are high volatility agents that are typically used for a nonpersistent to semipersistent effect.  Sarin is an example of this series.  V series (VE, VG, VM, VX) have low volatility and are typically used for a persistent effect or liquid contact hazard.  GV series (GV, Novichok) have volatility between the V and G agents and are typically used for a semi-persistent to persistent effect.  These all affect acetylcholine control.  The remaining class is called T series and is related to the Tetrodotoxin in puffer fish and some other marine creatures.

For those exposed to a nerve agent which prevents acetylcholine control, the military has (or had) the NAAK (Mark 1 Nerve Agent Antidote Kit) consisting of an auto-injector of Atropine and one of pralidoxime chloride.  Each soldier had three kits, one which could be self administered, and the other two which could be buddy administered if convulsions start.  The NAAK seems to have been replaced by the ATNAA (Antidote Treatment — Nerve Agent Auto-Injector) with the same two drugs in a single injector; it appears to not be available to civilians.  However the FDA has recently approved Duodote, a similar single injector system for civilian use.  It appears to go for about $60 each at regular pharmacies, but will require a prescription.

For someone convulsing, the military is (or at least was) issued an additional injector of Diazepam known as CANA (Convulsant Antidote for Nerve Agent) to be applied after the three NAAK kits.

 

There is currently no (known) antidote for T series nerve agents, which means that someone who would use one of these is probably insane (since it could affect them just as badly as the enemy).

Other agents

Pretty much anything which is toxic or harmful can be used as a chemical weapon.  Consider the “acid attacks” occurring in the UK and other places.  If you ever mix bleach and another product with acid or ammonia, you will regret it (poisonous vapors will be produced).  A large dose of insulin or nicotine can be deadly.  There are plants which are poisonous, such as some species of mushroom and Nightshade (Belladonna).  And so on for a very long list.

One interesting weapon is Botulinum toxin produced by botulism bacteria.  There are several types of this; types A and B are often used medically to treat muscle spasms (or thin lips and wrinkles).  Think Botox.  Type H is the deadliest substance in the world – an injection of only 2-billionths of a gram (2 ng) can cause death to an adult. Fifty grams is enough to kill the population of planet Earth, 50 grams is 1.7 ounces is less than 4 tablespoons.  Another interesting weapon is Ricin, produced from the remains of the castor bean after producing the castor oil.  This weapon acts by preventing protein synthesis at the cellular level. This means cells slowly grind to a halt and essential operations cease, leading to cellular death.

There are various detectors for the presence of some chemical weapons.  The most reasonable tend to be badges or booklets of test papers; more extensive test kits mostly are quite expensive and have a relatively short shelf life.

How to Survive Chemical or Biological Attacks

A guaranteed way it is actually very simple in concept.  Select the people you need or want to have with you, isolate them for a month to make sure they have no diseases, and then move into an air-tight residence with a chemical/biological air filter to bring in safe air, a stock of safe food, and water purification capability.  And never open the door again.  Of course, you might see some problems with this methodology.  First of all, getting that air-tight residence will be impractical for most people due to the cost and bureaucratic impediments.  Besides, even if nobody ever has to leave, which is pretty unlikely, eventually you will run out of something critical and have to go out for supplies.  There is equipment to keep you safe “out there” and you could have an air lock and decontamination setup at the entrance to keep the residence sterile.  But let’s face it, full protection gear is not only fallible, but likely to not go over well with the rest of the public.

Practically, you want to keep your infection risks down by staying away from other people as much as you can.  And remember your PPG (personal protection gear) of mask, and if you can get away with it, goggles.  Plus, have a bunch of exam gloves for whenever you need to touch something which might be infected by the previous person who was near it (which is usually EVERYTHING).  Have hand sanitizer available in case you accidentally touch anything when not wearing gloves.  Having a decontamination system at your entrance, for you AND anything you are bringing in is a critical idea.  Keep a close ear on any unusual medical news, and at the first sign of anything potentially biological weapon related, go to your highest level of infection prevention (essentially, isolation).  And remember, insects can carry disease, so be prepared to keep them out as much as practical, and take care of any which do get in.

Biological safety can be fairly long term; you have to wait for the disease to “burn itself out”; that is, reach a condition where nobody else is contagious and every existing source of the disease is quarantined or destroyed.  Chemical safety is much shorter term, but rather more complicated.  It would be a challenge for a biological weapon to get inside your house unless you bring it in or let it in.  Chemical weapons can get inside rather more easily.  If your residence is not air tight (and the odds are that it is not), you need to have the means at hand to make it more so upon demand.  This often can be done with plastic sheeting and duct tape.  Know what needs to be sealed and have the tools and supplies right there.  A way of filtering what air does come in would be quite useful because otherwise either the weapon can get in, or you will die when all the oxygen is used up.  When you have to go out, you’ll need full protection, and your need for protection is more important than what other people think.  Be alert for violence from those who don’t have protection or are just plain nut jobs.

Basically, this level of protection consists of a CBRN rated gas mask and a suit which keeps the chemicals off your entire body, since some chemical weapons affect the skin, and others can be absorbed through the skin.  Unfortunately, some chemical weapons are designed to defeat the protections against them, so masks and suits need to be continuously improved.  Thus your CBRN mask should be new and a recent model to ensure it has the latest technology and is in a condition which is reliable and effective (that is, not “expired”).  Surplus masks may be cheap, but the odds they will protect you are not favorable.  It will probably cost you at least $200 for a good mask.  You’ll need a supply of CBRN filter canisters as well, at about $45 each and up.  How long a filter is good for is difficult to know in advance, but as an estimate, plan on getting about eight hours out of a filter.  It is best to go for a mask which uses standard 40mm NATO filter attachment; they are quick to install, easier to find, and harder to screw up.  Sometimes you can get “6-packs” at a discount.  Be aware of the expiration date of your filters.  Some people claim that they are “useless” after this date; some people claim they are still useful “for a while” if sealed, and a few filters (which use asbestos, Chromium or other harmful chemicals) might be toxic when expired.  Here is a brief comparison of some modern gas masks.

As for the suit, Lawrence Livermore labs are working on “smart” protective clothing which protects against biological weapons and senses chemical agents and increases the protection for them.  This may or may not be available now, but I’ll bet even if you could find it for sale, you would not be able to afford it.  What you might be able to get is military MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) at least level four gear (lower level gear may be cheaper, but won’t provide as much protection).  This outfit is thick and does not breathe well, which can cause you to overheat, but it does pretty much protect from chemical weapons.  I was not able to find any currently available which guaranteed to be level four or higher, so cannot comment on price or availability.  The ones I did find were in the $50 to $100 range, which seemed suspiciously low.

Furthermore, many stated they were “surplus”, and these garments seem to have a shelf life of ten years or so when sealed in a package, and only a year or two if the package seal is broken.  Even it you did find a high level outfit surplus, it might not be any good by the time you needed it.  There appears to be a better consumer option, generically known as CPO and/or CPU (Chemical Protective Outergarments or Undergarments), which seem to be of a similar level of protection to MOPP level four, and available in the $200 to $350 range for Rampart offerings.  Gore-Tex appears to have an interesting version as well, but I could not find any for sale to civilians.  These garments often don’t include gloves or foot coverings, and some don’t include head covering, so make sure you have the parts to cover these areas as well, and the appropriate materials to seal between them and the suit and the mask.  This might add $50 to $100 to your cost.  If this just won’t fit the budget, simple “impervious” chemical resistant suits, often of Tyvek, may be better than nothing and much more affordable.

There are “full encapsulation” suits which would be excellent against biological agents, but might be “eaten” by some chemical agents.  These run from under $150 (I sure would be leery of the ones in this price range) to well over $1000, plus you would need an air supply, either SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) which would be safe but very expensive and short lived (about an hour max before the tank needs to be refilled), or PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) which would still probably add another $600 to $1000 or more to the cost of this solution.

Other Preparations for Chemical or Biological Events

Besides the stuff already mentioned specifically to deal with a chemical or biological emergency, you will want to have all the standard survival stuff.  This is because you want to be sure that your food and water is not contaminated with the weapon agent, and you want to minimize how often you have to go out among potentially infected people or areas to get necessities.  There is a high probability of random violence and looting.  Access to radio broadcasts is critical so you can find out what the status is of the attack and the response to it.  Medical supplies will likely be in short supply.  Personal hygiene supplies will be important; it would be embarrassing to defeat an enemy’s chemical or biological attack only to succumb to your own lack of hygiene.

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Introduction to ABC and NBC Survival

Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

No, I’m not talking about the television networks; they can’t kill you, just dim your intelligence and contaminate you with incorrect information.  In the 50’s, the risk was from what were called Atomic, Biological and Chemical weapons, thus ABC.  During the cold war, the term changed to NBC, or Nuclear, Biological and Chemical.  This was to include “hydrogen” (“thermonuclear”, including fusion) and “neutron” (designed for maximum radiation and minimum blast) bombs with the original “atomic” (using fission only) bombs.  Nowadays, the term has been expanded to CBRNe.  This refers to “all” the current “weapons of mass destruction”, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and sometimes “enhanced (improvised) explosive”.  I don’t know why an “improvised” explosive device is considered any worse than a military or other “dedicated” explosive device.

In a previous article (Introduction to Nuclear Survival), we discussed the “Nuclear” aspect.  This has the short term (fireball, blast and heat) aspects and the longer term (radiation and fallout) aspects.  “Radiological” is a relatively new concept dealing with the concept of a “dirty bomb“.  This is a standard explosive which is surrounded with radioactive material.  It does not have the destructive power or radiation of a nuclear explosion, but does spread radioactive material around, potentially exposing victims to the radiation, and making the area unsafe until it is cleaned up or the radioactive material decays to a safe level.

Biological weapons attempt to use disease as a weapon against a population; the agent is bacterial or viral or spores (including fungal).  The key to these is that usually there is a period of time between exposure and symptoms, and transmission across a target area is accomplished by “infection” – people with the disease unknowingly (or uncaringly) infecting other people.

Chemical weapons are another anti-personnel weapon which attempts to poison, disable or disorient a population.  This can be a single, basic chemical or a complex mix such as a nerve agent; the chemical can have been developed for non-weapon uses and just be adapted for weapon use, or it could have been developed strictly as a weapon.

Biological Weapons

As mentioned, the long term transmission of biological weapons is via infection.  An area may be contaminated by filling the air with an aerosol form, or covering it with a liquid form, but often it is more effective (and technically easier) to send infectious people into the target population.  The design of these weapons focus on the resistance of the disease agent outside of a host (to make it difficult to sanitize an affected area and infect as many “primary” hosts as possible), the lethality of the disease (maximize the percentage of victims who are disabled or die), the susceptibility to treatment or inoculation (to minimize victims being easily cured or made resistant to infection), and the length of the incubation period (a long time between exposure and symptoms to maximize the period each carrier is infectious and mobile, or a short time to make it harder to combat).

Thus, the trick is to avoid becoming infected.  This generally occurs when the disease agent (bacteria, virus or spore) enters the body, most commonly via the mouth, nose, eyes or a break in the skin.  The disease agent can be in an aerosol form which is breathed or a liquid which gets on the hands and is transferred to an opening or into a wound.  It can also be in what is eaten or drunk.  If you can prevent these common sources of infection, then it would be unlikely that you will be infected, unless someone injects you or you are in long term close contact with a carrier or their environment.  To reduce the odds of infection, use a mask over your mouth and nose which can filter out and/or kill the disease agent, goggles which seal around your eyes, and clothing which will keep the disease agent away from your skin, or at least any breaks in your skin.  Decontamination; that is safe removal and containment of the clothing upon return to a “safe” location, and cleaning any possibly exposed parts of the body, will be of great importance.

Since it is difficult to keep up avoidance of infection long term, a secondary focus is to kill the disease agent not yet (or any more) in a victim, and to quarantine those who are infected.  There are a number of ways to kill disease agents: heat, ultraviolet and disinfectants are the most common.  Victims of bacterial weapons may respond to antibiotics, but often viruses don’t have effective anti-virals.

Note that a biological product, such as Botulism toxin is NOT a Biological weapon, but a Chemical one.  A Biological weapon is one which is “alive” or at least becomes alive in the victim, and works by multiplying to the point where the victim’s system is overwhelmed.  The diseases used tend to be naturally occurring, although the weaponized ones may have been “tweaked”.

Perhaps the most noted modern biological weapon is Anthrax (Bacillus Anthracis).  Others include Smallpox (Variola major), Tularemia (Francisella tularensis), Plague (Yersinia pestis), Bunyavirus (Bunyaviridae family – Nairovirus, Phlebovirus and Hantavirus), Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus (another Hemorrhagic Fever similar to Ebola).  Some people think that influenza has potential to be “improved” into a useful weapon.

Anthrax has not only the bacteriological effects, but the bacterium is one of those which also produce toxins.  Treatment varies depending on how you were infected.  If the infection was through a wound or injection, often a long course of Ciprofloxican or a Doxycycline antibiotic will do the trick.  If spores were inhaled, that is a medical emergency which antibiotics alone may not suffice for.  There are anti-toxins being developed for cases where the toxin has been produced in the victim in quantity, but at this time these are still experimental.  Those at risk (veterinarians and other professionals who deal with animals, and the military) can get a vaccine against Anthrax.  They are also working to develop an oral vaccine which might be available more widely.  Anthrax is not as infectious as many diseases, so the optimal way of introducing it into a population is dispersing an aerosol to encourage inhalation of the agent.

  

Chemical Weapons

Any weaponized material which is not “alive” (or potentially alive), including substances produced by or from biological elements, is considered Chemical.  This material is finite in quantity; it does not reproduce, and works by affecting the body directly.  It can be a gas, liquid, powder or other solid form.  It can be distributed by explosion or other mechanical distribution, or it can be concealed in food or water or many other products.  Effects can be physical damage, death, incapacitation or disorientation; effects can occur ‘instantaneously’ or after a while, and can be permanent or temporary.

When developing a chemical weapon, one tends to focus not only in producing the desired effect, but the “volatility” or how stable it is.  Chemicals which are volatile (unstable) tend to “go away” or become inactive quickly, thus exhibiting low “persistence”.  This might be of interest if you plan to send personnel in shortly after the weapon.  On the other hand, if the goal is to cause as much damage as possible, high persistence would be preferable.

Harassing agents

These are substances that are not intended to kill or injure. Casualty effects are not anticipated to exceed 24 hours, nor do they often require medical attention.  These include tear agents (pain to eyes and irritation to mucous membranes), vomiting agents (produce congestion, coughing, sneezing, and eventually nausea), and malodorants (strong, unpleasant smell with powerful averse effects, such as a skunk uses.)

Incapacitating agents

These are substances that produce debilitating effects with limited probability of permanent injury or loss of life. The casualty effects typically last over 24 hours, and though medical evacuation and isolation is recommended, it is usually not required for complete recovery.  Most are psychological agents which cause mental disturbances such as delirium or hallucination.  A common example is LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide).  Tranquilizers would also be incapacitating agents, but would be other than psychological in nature.

Vomiting. Adamsite (DM) Diphenylchloroarsine (DA) Diphenylcyanoarsine (DC) Other. Agent 15. BZ. Canniboids. Fentanyls. LSD. Phenothiazines. Riot Control/Tear. Bromobenzylcyanide Chloroacetophenone. Chloropicrin. CNB – (CN in Benzene and Carbon Tetrachloride) CNC – (CN in Chloroform) CNS – (CN and Chloropicrin in Chloroform)

Harassing agents and incapacitating agents are considered NON-LETHAL weapons which are temporary in nature.  Note that they can result in the death of a small percentage of people affected due to sensitivity, other health issues or unintended consequence (a LSD victim thinking he can fly and jumping off a building).  All other chemical weapons are considered LETHAL weapons, as they are intended to produce casualties without regard to long-term consequences or loss of life; the injuries they cause require medical treatment.

Blister agents

These irritate and cause injury to the skin, as well as the eyes, or any other tissue they contact (including internal tissues if breathed).

Vesicants – These are substances that produce large fluid-filled blisters on the skin, for example, various formulas of mustard gas.

UrticantsThese are substances that produce a painful weal on the skin.  Sometimes they are called skin necrotizers.  The most common is Phosgene oxime.

Blood agents

These substances are metabolic poisons that interfere with the life-sustaining processes of the blood, such as Hydrogen cyanide or Arsine (a compound of arsenic).

Choking agents

These substances are sometime referred to as pulmonary agent or lung irritants and cause injury to the lung-blood barrier, preventing oxygen from getting into the blood.  This results in coma or death from Asphyxia (severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body).  These are commonly gasses, such as Chlorine or Phosgene.

Nerve agents

Nerve agents are substances that disrupt the chemical communications through the nervous system.  The most common method of doing this is by preventing the normal control (destruction) of unintended acetylcholine in the nerve fiber, leading to a perpetual state of excitement in the nerve.  This causes constant muscle contraction and the eventual exhaustion of the muscles leading to respiratory failure and death.  The other method is a neurotoxin, Tetrodotoxin, which blocks nerve cells from firing, preventing muscles from contracting, and again resulting in respiratory failure.

 

There are a number of “series” of nerve agents.  G series are high volatility agents that are typically used for a nonpersistent to semipersistent effect.  Sarin is an example of this series.  V series (VE, VG, VM, VX) have low volatility and are typically used for a persistent effect or liquid contact hazard.  GV series (GV, Novichok) have volatility between the V and G agents and are typically used for a semi-persistent to persistent effect.  These all affect acetylcholine control.  The remaining class is called T series and is related to the Tetrodotoxin in puffer fish and some other marine creatures.

For those exposed to a nerve agent which prevents acetylcholine control, the military has (or had) the NAAK (Mark 1 Nerve Agent Antidote Kit) consisting of an auto-injector of Atropine and one of pralidoxime chloride.  Each soldier had three kits, one which could be self administered, and the other two which could be buddy administered if convulsions start.  The NAAK seems to have been replaced by the ATNAA (Antidote Treatment — Nerve Agent Auto-Injector) with the same two drugs in a single injector; it appears to not be available to civilians.  However the FDA has recently approved Duodote, a similar single injector system for civilian use.  It appears to go for about $60 each at regular pharmacies, but will require a prescription.

For someone convulsing, the military is (or at least was) issued an additional injector of Diazepam known as CANA (Convulsant Antidote for Nerve Agent) to be applied after the three NAAK kits.

 

There is currently no (known) antidote for T series nerve agents, which means that someone who would use one of these is probably insane (since it could affect them just as badly as the enemy).

Other agents

Pretty much anything which is toxic or harmful can be used as a chemical weapon.  Consider the “acid attacks” occurring in the UK and other places.  If you ever mix bleach and another product with acid or ammonia, you will regret it (poisonous vapors will be produced).  A large dose of insulin or nicotine can be deadly.  There are plants which are poisonous, such as some species of mushroom and Nightshade (Belladonna).  And so on for a very long list.

One interesting weapon is Botulinum toxin produced by botulism bacteria.  There are several types of this; types A and B are often used medically to treat muscle spasms (or thin lips and wrinkles).  Think Botox.  Type H is the deadliest substance in the world – an injection of only 2-billionths of a gram (2 ng) can cause death to an adult. Fifty grams is enough to kill the population of planet Earth, 50 grams is 1.7 ounces is less than 4 tablespoons.  Another interesting weapon is Ricin, produced from the remains of the castor bean after producing the castor oil.  This weapon acts by preventing protein synthesis at the cellular level. This means cells slowly grind to a halt and essential operations cease, leading to cellular death.

There are various detectors for the presence of some chemical weapons.  The most reasonable tend to be badges or booklets of test papers; more extensive test kits mostly are quite expensive and have a relatively short shelf life.

How to Survive Chemical or Biological Attacks

A guaranteed way it is actually very simple in concept.  Select the people you need or want to have with you, isolate them for a month to make sure they have no diseases, and then move into an air-tight residence with a chemical/biological air filter to bring in safe air, a stock of safe food, and water purification capability.  And never open the door again.  Of course, you might see some problems with this methodology.  First of all, getting that air-tight residence will be impractical for most people due to the cost and bureaucratic impediments.  Besides, even if nobody ever has to leave, which is pretty unlikely, eventually you will run out of something critical and have to go out for supplies.  There is equipment to keep you safe “out there” and you could have an air lock and decontamination setup at the entrance to keep the residence sterile.  But let’s face it, full protection gear is not only fallible, but likely to not go over well with the rest of the public.

Practically, you want to keep your infection risks down by staying away from other people as much as you can.  And remember your PPG (personal protection gear) of mask, and if you can get away with it, goggles.  Plus, have a bunch of exam gloves for whenever you need to touch something which might be infected by the previous person who was near it (which is usually EVERYTHING).  Have hand sanitizer available in case you accidentally touch anything when not wearing gloves.  Having a decontamination system at your entrance, for you AND anything you are bringing in is a critical idea.  Keep a close ear on any unusual medical news, and at the first sign of anything potentially biological weapon related, go to your highest level of infection prevention (essentially, isolation).  And remember, insects can carry disease, so be prepared to keep them out as much as practical, and take care of any which do get in.

Biological safety can be fairly long term; you have to wait for the disease to “burn itself out”; that is, reach a condition where nobody else is contagious and every existing source of the disease is quarantined or destroyed.  Chemical safety is much shorter term, but rather more complicated.  It would be a challenge for a biological weapon to get inside your house unless you bring it in or let it in.  Chemical weapons can get inside rather more easily.  If your residence is not air tight (and the odds are that it is not), you need to have the means at hand to make it more so upon demand.  This often can be done with plastic sheeting and duct tape.  Know what needs to be sealed and have the tools and supplies right there.  A way of filtering what air does come in would be quite useful because otherwise either the weapon can get in, or you will die when all the oxygen is used up.  When you have to go out, you’ll need full protection, and your need for protection is more important than what other people think.  Be alert for violence from those who don’t have protection or are just plain nut jobs.

Basically, this level of protection consists of a CBRN rated gas mask and a suit which keeps the chemicals off your entire body, since some chemical weapons affect the skin, and others can be absorbed through the skin.  Unfortunately, some chemical weapons are designed to defeat the protections against them, so masks and suits need to be continuously improved.  Thus your CBRN mask should be new and a recent model to ensure it has the latest technology and is in a condition which is reliable and effective (that is, not “expired”).  Surplus masks may be cheap, but the odds they will protect you are not favorable.  It will probably cost you at least $200 for a good mask.  You’ll need a supply of CBRN filter canisters as well, at about $45 each and up.  How long a filter is good for is difficult to know in advance, but as an estimate, plan on getting about eight hours out of a filter.  It is best to go for a mask which uses standard 40mm NATO filter attachment; they are quick to install, easier to find, and harder to screw up.  Sometimes you can get “6-packs” at a discount.  Be aware of the expiration date of your filters.  Some people claim that they are “useless” after this date; some people claim they are still useful “for a while” if sealed, and a few filters (which use asbestos, Chromium or other harmful chemicals) might be toxic when expired.  Here is a brief comparison of some modern gas masks.

As for the suit, Lawrence Livermore labs are working on “smart” protective clothing which protects against biological weapons and senses chemical agents and increases the protection for them.  This may or may not be available now, but I’ll bet even if you could find it for sale, you would not be able to afford it.  What you might be able to get is military MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) at least level four gear (lower level gear may be cheaper, but won’t provide as much protection).  This outfit is thick and does not breathe well, which can cause you to overheat, but it does pretty much protect from chemical weapons.  I was not able to find any currently available which guaranteed to be level four or higher, so cannot comment on price or availability.  The ones I did find were in the $50 to $100 range, which seemed suspiciously low.

Furthermore, many stated they were “surplus”, and these garments seem to have a shelf life of ten years or so when sealed in a package, and only a year or two if the package seal is broken.  Even it you did find a high level outfit surplus, it might not be any good by the time you needed it.  There appears to be a better consumer option, generically known as CPO and/or CPU (Chemical Protective Outergarments or Undergarments), which seem to be of a similar level of protection to MOPP level four, and available in the $200 to $350 range for Rampart offerings.  Gore-Tex appears to have an interesting version as well, but I could not find any for sale to civilians.  These garments often don’t include gloves or foot coverings, and some don’t include head covering, so make sure you have the parts to cover these areas as well, and the appropriate materials to seal between them and the suit and the mask.  This might add $50 to $100 to your cost.  If this just won’t fit the budget, simple “impervious” chemical resistant suits, often of Tyvek, may be better than nothing and much more affordable.

There are “full encapsulation” suits which would be excellent against biological agents, but might be “eaten” by some chemical agents.  These run from under $150 (I sure would be leery of the ones in this price range) to well over $1000, plus you would need an air supply, either SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) which would be safe but very expensive and short lived (about an hour max before the tank needs to be refilled), or PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) which would still probably add another $600 to $1000 or more to the cost of this solution.

Other Preparations for Chemical or Biological Events

Besides the stuff already mentioned specifically to deal with a chemical or biological emergency, you will want to have all the standard survival stuff.  This is because you want to be sure that your food and water is not contaminated with the weapon agent, and you want to minimize how often you have to go out among potentially infected people or areas to get necessities.  There is a high probability of random violence and looting.  Access to radio broadcasts is critical so you can find out what the status is of the attack and the response to it.  Medical supplies will likely be in short supply.  Personal hygiene supplies will be important; it would be embarrassing to defeat an enemy’s chemical or biological attack only to succumb to your own lack of hygiene.

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A Quick Start Guide to Emergency Preparedness for Apartment Dwellers

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com If you live in an apartment and want to prepare for a disaster, you may initially feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, and the feeling worsens when you hear about what other people are doing and you haven’t even started yet. Don’t let all this worry get you down; the most important thing to do is to get started.  Whether you live in a small apartment or a small home, […]

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Congratulations, Members, on Completing These Certifications!

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Congratulations to the following Honors Lab members on completing one or more of our Certifications!

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Saving Quality Seeds Certification

Saving Quality Seeds

Learn how to save seeds that will ensure an abundant harvest in years to come with the in-depth information in TGN’s Saving Quality Seeds Certification.

This 7-lesson Certification teaches which plants are easiest to save seeds from, how to plan your garden with seed-saving in mind, how to do a garden soil inventory, the basics of dry and wet harvesting, the best way to store seed, how to determine seed quality—and more!

Congratulations to the following Honors Lab members on completing this Certification:

  • Debbie Kennedy
  • Brian Moyers
  • Diane Jandt
  • Gary Conter
  • HP P
  • Janna Huggins
  • Phil Tkachuk
  • William Torres

Backyard Chickens for Egg Production Certification

I’m excited to announce that we’re putting the finishing touches on another multi-lesson, deep-diving certification, which will be added to the Honors Lab very soon:

Backyard Chickens for Egg Production 

In this awesome new certification, TGN blogger (and homesteader extraordinaire!) Tasha Greer covers everything from breed selection and coop design to flock health and egg storage — plus lots more….

We’ve also got several more certifications in the works, including “Making Home Medicine,” “Backyard Meat Rabbits,” “Bird-watching,” and “Beekeeping.” We’re working with some fantastic experts on these, so you’ll definitely want to check them out in the Honors Lab once they’re ready. Exciting stuff! 🙂

 

The post Congratulations, Members, on Completing These Certifications! appeared first on The Grow Network.

Collapse Investing: 7 Clever Ways To Prepare for a Cashless Society With Precious Metals

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is a little bit of a different flair.  A basic “how-to” guide to garnering some precious metals to have on your person.  Why?  Let’s take a hypothetical view.  What if some major disaster occurs and you need to take a cab somewhere…it’s your only option?  It is just before the major panic sets in.  Everyone else has the same idea.  Cab to the highest bidder and you have a heavy sterling silver chain to go along with that cash.  Guess who gets the ride?

7 Ways To Pick Up Some Micro-Marketed Precious Metals

It’s as simple as that.  So, let’s take a look at how to pick up some “micro-marketed” precious metals.  There are plenty of different sources that (most of the time) will bargain with you or will be oblivious.  Let’s list some of them:

  1. Consignment stores: often have jewelry at basement prices and will bargain with you, especially if the goods belong to the store’s owner.
  2. Thrift stores: that’s right! Thrift store personnel (from the manager on down) do not usually have a clue as to what jewelry comes into their establishment.  Here look for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings…most of the time silver, and occasionally gold.
  3. Storage Units: each month they turn out a bunch of people who can’t pay…placing (or throwing) their stuff outside of the unit and giving it 24 hours or so to pick it up. At times you can even cut a deal with the owners to go into a unit “blind” and take care of what’s in there.  Drawback: you’re responsible for the stuff…but you’d be surprised about what people throw into these things.
  4. Flea Markets: Once again, you’ll be among the oblivious (fellow shoppers and vendors), and you’ll find a deal…it just takes time.
  5. Want Ads: yes, often you’ll pick up jewelry, coins, and ingots (silver or gold) at pennies on the dollar.
  6. Estate/Deceased Person’s Sales and Auctions: Yes, indeed, especially when the person is not some multi-millionaire…that’s when you must bid against a plethora of social debutantes that can outslick you.
  7. EbayThat’s right, I said Ebay. They happen to have a very active silver market, where you can find a large selection any time or day of the week. After spending a lot of time hunting down junk coins on Ebay, writer Joshua Krause perfected his procedure for spotting and procuring the best price for silver and wrote about it. You can read more here.

Coins and jewelry are the best types of PM’s to pick up and are great for bartering.  This is not because they’re always the highest precious metal content, but because of the form they’re in.  For more on that, research Frankie the Dead Roosevelt (or FDR’s) executive order of 1933 going door-to-door to confiscate the gold.  That’s right: in these United States.  This gives you a little bit more “insulation,” as you can wear the jewelry, collect the “coins,” and hide both.

It would behoove you to have a few items at your disposal.  Firstly, knowledge of the grades of silver and the carats of gold.  With silver, shoot for sterling (.925 mark on it), but with coins, you’ll need to know the type of coin and the year to be able to determine the silver content.  Same for gold.  Don’t become “gypped,” because crooks will take little ringlets with a stamp of “14-carat” on them…and they are…and attach them to a chain that is at best 14-carat gold paint. Learn more about testing your precious metals.

A magnifying glass is a great aid.  A word of warning: most of the oblivious will suddenly have their pupils change into dollar signs and their fangs will come out.  If you are looking at something with a magnifying glass and they see you?  You can bank on them checking out what you run right up to the counter to buy for one or two dollars.  Be smart and be incognito…and you’ll prosper.  If you feel this is dishonest, then tell them what you’ve found, and they’ll thank you every time you do it.  Sink or swim, it’s your decision.

Keep a small “stash” of these items on your person.  Naturally, other things such as diamonds, precious, and semi-precious stones will need more of an eye and knowledge to assess.  These you can carry on you to an extent.  Just make sure they’re real.  Another thing: before you deal with someone, make sure they’re real before you give the piece of jewelry to them.  Ignorance is not always bliss, especially where the ignorance is feigned.  When you buy?  Hey, they put it out, and it’s not your job to look out for the store’s welfare.  Trust me: the store will be there with or without your purchase.  The thing was a donated item anyway…and 501-C-3’s are non-profit corporations that all make a profit…every one of them.

Think of these things and about building up a small personal supply of such precious metals you can carry around with you for when the “S” hits the fan, or when you have need of an edge.  Good hunting and keep your eyes open…the bargains will jump up for you.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

11 Great Self Defense Weapons That (Probably) Won’t Kill Anyone

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The most popular self-defense weapon is a firearm, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best self-defense weapon.  Many people are uncomfortable carrying a gun (as it is a major responsibility) and would prefer a non-lethal weapon instead, or they may live or work in an area where carrying firearms is not allowed. If either […]

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Water Safety & Filtration for Preppers With Kevin Reiter

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This week I am joined by Kevin Reiter from The Wilderness Safety Institute to talk about water safety and filtration for preppers. Kevin has been on a couple times in the past talking about trauma kits, gear and other medical information. Water safety and filtration is something that can seem fairly complicated at first, but […]

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Water Safety & Filtration for Preppers With Kevin Reiter

This week I am joined by Kevin Reiter from The Wilderness Safety Institute to talk about water safety and filtration for preppers. Kevin has been on a couple times in the past talking about trauma kits, gear and other medical information. Water safety and filtration is something that can seem fairly complicated at first, but […]

The post Water Safety & Filtration for Preppers With Kevin Reiter appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.